Cherries: Youth 'lifeline' key for Mitchell in light of elite player plan
CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell has unveiled fresh proposals for Cherries' youth set-up after admitting revenue from homegrown stars offers the club its lifeline. Mitchell also vowed to inject funds from the sale of Josh McQuoid and future starlets back into the development of young hopefuls. He believes producing their own players is key to Cherries' future and insists the youth set-up is his top priority and paramount to the club. The Cherries chief's comments come after the topic made national headlines this week. Premier League plans to overhaul the academy system were unveiled and some of the ideas within the Elite Player Performance Plan have sparked fears that lower league clubs could be adversely affected. Discussing the club's youth department, Mitchell told the Echo: It is at the very top of our list. It is pretty obvious at the club now, since I've been here anyway, that the only way to earn any considerable sums of money is to bring players through and sell them on, if and when the time is right. If you take Eddie Howe, Josh McQuoid and Brett Pitman (all homegrown stars) and look at what the club has received for them, it is pretty obvious to us that is where our lifeline is. Cherries have made a small fortune from homegrown players in recent seasons, with under-18s and reserves boss Joe Roach bringing through Sam Vokes, Pitman and McQuoid to earn Cherries well in excess of £1million in transfer fees. Mitchell said: In regards to the Josh McQuoid sale and any sales after that, a percentage will go back into the youth and school of excellence. One area already being addressed is where Cherries' under-18s are housed. Mitchell confirmed plans to bring them back to Dean Court next season and out of their Brockenhurst College base, with a classroom for 25 being prepared in the East Stand and plans in place to build training pitches. Mitchell added: Shaun Brooks is looking at the overall picture from the youth downwards, with my blessing, to advise me on the best way forward. He has been doing that for quite some time. Joe (Roach) is focused on his job and on what he is doing and he is doing it well. We needed it overhauled from the top, looked at and re-addressed and Shaun has spent a considerable amount of time doing that, while running the school of excellence.
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